Drug addiction often starts as the result of taking pain medications long after they’re needed or recreationally and experimentally. While practically any substance can have addictive properties, some drugs have a higher risk of dependency and addiction. It is important to identify the signs of substance abuse so help can be given before an addiction takes over.
Who is at Risk?
Heroin and opioid addictions are growing across the United States, with deaths and overdoses from these substances increasing over the last 10 years by almost 300%. Since 1999, over 700,000 Americans have died as a result of opioid abuse.
Drug addiction does not have a “type.” It can affect men and women of any age. It does not discriminate against race or economic standing. Of course there are factors that accelerate addiction and increase a person’s chance of becoming addicted.
- Genetics: There is a genetic predisposition to drug addiction. When a person has at least one close relative with a drug addiction, they are at higher risk for developing an addiction.
- Environment: When someone is raised in an environment where drug abuse is visible and is common, they are at a higher risk of falling into a similar situation.
- Mental Health Disorders: Individuals who suffer from mental health disorders have an increased risk of becoming addicted. Mental health disorders can cause many issues with self-medication, making addiction harder to control and treat.
Signs of Dependency and Addiction
When someone is addicted to illegal substances, there are a few signs to watch for. These signs can help alert you when a loved one is struggling
- Disinterested in work, school, or hobbies
- Poor work performance, late to work or activities, appearing tired and distant
- Changes in physical appearance, such as a lack of interest in self care and grooming
- Changes in relationships
- Secrecy and increased desire for privacy
- Lack of energy when performing daily activities
- Poor financial management
If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, keep alert for the warning signs of dependency and addiction. Early detection can prevent addiction and dependence on substances.